Commercial fishing gains ground

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BRUNEI-MUARA

THE commercial value of capture fisheries production in the sultanate increased by more than $10 million last year, an officer from the Fisheries Department said.

Nur Aqillah Timbang told The Brunei Times yesterday that more companies are involved in commercial fishing, resulting in an increase in the amount of fish landings at the Muara Fish Landing Complex

“A total of $84.98 million was recorded last year compared to $71.5 million in 2014,” said the fisheries officer during the second day of its Mini Carnival at the Muara Fish Landing Complex.

She said the amount of fish landings at the Muara Fish Landing Complex increased by 2,233 metric tonnes within one year.

“The production went up to 17,333 metric tonnes in 2015 compare to 15,100 metric tonnes in 2014.”

She said the figure is only for the capture section and does not include the aquaculture and processing food section.

She added that the collection of fish is dependant on the amount of fishing vessels registered at the complex.

“The more fishing vessels provided from private companies, the more we can increase the production.

“Currently, there are 32 fishing vessels of different sizes and types under 28 companies.

“Some companies are waiting to get the tender,” said Nur Aqillah.

Asked about fishing zones, she said there are four zones allowed for fishing activities along Brunei Bay.

“Zone One and Two are from zero to 20 nautical miles and the area is only for small fishing activities. This is followed by Zone Three which is from 20 to 45 nautical miles and zone four starts from 45 to 200 nautical miles,” she said.

She went on to say that fishermen often face challenges in Zone Four as the operational costs are high in the area.

“The vessels that go to Zone Four need more fuel and food supplies. It takes more than four days to go there,” said the official.

The Fisheries Department is currently holding a mini carnival at the Muara Fish Landing Complex.

The carnival kicked off yesterday and will run until May 1.

Nur Aqillah said the carnival is garnering good response as many of the visitors know that the fish are sold at prices are lower than fish markets.

“Most of fish suppliers come to the Muara Fish Landing Complex to get their stock here with wholesale prices. The price is cheaper here as the fishes are obtained directly from the vessels while prices at markets were set by (the fishmongers),” said the fisheries official.

The Brunei Times